The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 16 December 1999 for the South East Asian region: “Cloudy conditions over central and northern Sumatra. The region is clear of smoke haze and hot spots.”
Fig. 1. Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Hot Spot Map, 16 December 1999
Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are available at http://www.gov.sg/metsin/flm.html
Fig. 2.-7. Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), next week (center) and the predicted FWI anomaly for next month (right) for the Western Pacific and the Pacific Ocean. The daily forecast refers to 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) time; the weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted anomaly refer to 00:00 hrs UTC which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia (updated: 17 December 1999).
The ASEAN Haze Action Online provides the following information:
Monitoring: Hyperlinks to institutions involved in regional monitoring and prediction of fire and smoke haze
Intranet: Information and possible participation in the ASEAN Haze Action Online Intranet Information Services (for associated registered participants)
Mobilization Plan: Model Fire Suppression Mobilization Plan
Inventory: Inventory and analysis of forest and land fire suppression capabilities
Haze Forum: Communication platform on fire and smoke-haze issues in the ASEAN region
Calendar: Fire and haze-related events can be identified by a search modus
The ASEAN Fire Weather Information System (ASFWIS) is a co-operation between ASEAN and the Canadian Forest Service. It provides maps describing the current fire weather situation in South East Asia. This system is based upon the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) (for further infomation to the CFFDRS refer to ASFWIS). Studies have shown that the CFFDRS is applicable outside of Canada. Currently it is also used in a modified form in New Zealand (see References). In New Zealand the Fire Weather Indices Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and the Initial Spread Index (ISI) represent the fire danger in the scrublands. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC) is also applicable in South East Asia, because it potentially describes the moisture state of the upper peat layers in peat and peat swamp forests. All three parameters may serve as a suitable indicator of forest fire danger in South East Asia.
According to the ASFWIS for 13 December 1999 various parameters show the fire weather conditions over South East Asia. Please have a look to the output maps of the ASFWIS on 14 December 1999.
The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provides a fire overview map on the 16 December 1999.
Fig.8. Fire Overview Map for 16 December 1999 of the FFPCP project in Palembang.
Summary: Although the current fire weather conditions do under normal conditions not favour extensive land clearing by fire or escaping wildfires in Indonesia, the consequences of the large wildfires of 1997-98 must been taken into consideration. These fires had caused extensive degradation of primary and secondary forests along with the spreading of “alang-alang” (Imperata cylindrica) grasslands. These grasslands facilitate the spread of uncontrolled fires over large areas.